Since starting gymnastics at age five—or at least since reading Geek Love in college—I’ve wanted to run away and join the circus. Actually, the problem was that I wanted to join the circus but I didn’t want to run away.
How fortunate, then, that AK found out about Cirque School, where you can lea
The classes are held at Absolution L.A., a small West Hollywood studio walled with honey-colored wood and stocked with pilates machines, trapezes, a climbing wall, red vinyl chairs and other items of expensive-looking fu
Unlike at 24 Hour Fitness, where no one much notices if you fall off a treadmill and rip your kneecaps off, at Cirque School everyone immediately introduced themselves and told me how much fun I was about to have.
And they were right: Soon I was flipping upside down on the stationary trapeze and doing poses with names like “Gazelle” and “Mermaid.” I felt like a gazelle and a mermaid: graceful, strong and slightly exotic.
“You have good body awareness,” said Aloysia, one of the instructors.
She meant, I think, that if someone tells me to extend my leg, I can extend my leg. I know where I’m putting myself, a skill endowed by much gymnastics and dance early in life. I’m increasingly grateful for those hours spent at the Manhattan Heights gym (which also served as a tai chi studio and a Christmas-decoration-making center) because as I get older, my muscle memories allow me to take on new physical activities without totally sucking at them, and without being in particularly good shape.
Nevertheless, the kind of body awareness I experienced last night largely involved being aware that Aloysia and Elizabeth (the other instructor) and Meagan (the star student) had beautiful, thin-yet-buff dancer bodies, while I had the body of someone whose art form involved a lot of sitting in a chair at Starbucks.
2. ladies who lunch and fly through the air
After last night’s class—and even with this mo
Sometimes I really wish I were a wealthy heiress who could devote all her time to dilettante-ish self-improvement projects. I would take Spanish, drawing, singing, trapeze, and host the occasional charity ball. Of course I would probably be kind of insufferable, but I would have lots of time for therapy to make me a better adjusted person.
If the art class gets canceled (enrollment is low)—which I hope it doesn’t—maybe I’ll try to do a little more trapezing. If not, I’ll just enjoy the fact that I got to live my Geek Love dreams for a day. Except for the part where they form a crazy amputation cult, because it’s helpful to have all your limbs when hanging upside down from a skinny little swing.